The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) has accused the North Battleford Canadian Tire of racial profiling, but a statement from the store says employees were following protocol after a door alarm was triggered.
In a statement released earlier today, the FSIN demanded an apology from the hardware store after Elder Gordon Albert was searched by employees earlier this week. The FSIN claimed employees followed the Elder around the store and accused him of theft before searching through his pockets and bags.
“We will not tolerate this treatment any longer,” Chief Bobby Cameron was quoted in the release. “The family is still considering their options, but at the very least, I am recommending that they file a human rights complaint.”
“Stores must train their employees to get past racial profiling. First Nations people are tired of being followed around in stores and accused of theft when they are just trying to shop for their families,” Cameron said. “Even if someone is behaving suspiciously, they are still deserving of respect and do not deserve to be humiliated in public.”
Canadian Tire responded to the allegations with its own release and claimed they were following regular protocol when an alarm went off at the store's exit.
“In this particular situation, the sensor at the store exit was triggered as the customers left, and as per our normal process, store staff inspected the shopping bags for any unremoved tags. After learning that the sensor was triggered by a tag on a product purchased elsewhere, Mr. Albert and his son left the store. Recent conversations between the store and Mr. Albert and his family have been positive and productive, and the store considered the matter to have been resolved.”
The FSIN couldn’t be reached for comment on Canadian Tire’s release, as its office was closed at noon today for the holidays.
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